Of Anzacs and Samaritans

Of Anzacs and Samaritans

(With apologies to the unknown author of ‘Five Miles From Gundagai’

From whom the first verse was nicked)

By Rob Robertson


I’m used to punchin’ bullock teams

Across the hills and plains,

I’ve teamed outback this twenty years

In blazin’ droughts and rains.

I’ve lived a heap of troubles down

Without a word of lie,

But I can’t forget what happened to me

Five miles from Gundagai.



‘Twas gettin dark, the team got bogged,

the axle snapped in two;

When a gang o’ ruffs set on me good

And started a dinkum blue.

I fought ‘em off as best I could

but they numbered near thirty

I stood me ground, but down I went

The yeller dogs fought dirty.



I lay there groanin’, wounded somethin’ mortal,

while they pinched me load.

An’ the bullocks too the blighters stole,

and headed down the road.

‘Ah what a turn’, I thought, as I lay there dyin’

watchin’ the night creepin’ in.

‘Me an ANZAC, a digger through ‘n through

and me own kind ‘ave done me in!’



As I lay there bleedin’, and cursin’ me rotten luck,

I heard a carriage, as near it dashed.

As it drew close, I called out, ‘Help me mate,

I’ve been robbed and bashed.’

It stopped, a face peered out. ‘Twas McGregor

The local banker, a real toff.

‘E looked me up and down, blood an’ all

and told his driver, ‘Be off!’



So I lay there bleedin’, and cursin’ me rotten luck,

But footsteps sounded, comin’ closely,

Till I saw a familiar face, that roused me hope at once.

‘Twas the local bishop, Reverend Mosely

‘You poor lad.’ ‘e simpered as I groaned and coughed.

‘Excuse my rush, I’m off to church.’

With that, ‘e crossed the road, an’ scarpered off,

An’ left me dyin’, in the lurch.



So I lay there bleedin’, and cursin’ me rotten luck,

I’d lost all hope, I was dead.

When a voice came nearer, talkin’ real strange like.

An’ over me body poked this head,

And as ‘e spoke I woke to his voice, and his face.

‘E was a Turk, the kind I fought,

in 1915 when us diggers stormed ANZAC Cove

To meet one ‘ere, I never thought.



So I lay there bleedin’, and cursin’ me rotten luck,

‘Leave me be, let me die!’

But ‘e downed his swag and checked my wounds

And ‘e ignored my futile cry

As ‘e washed ‘em clean, and bound my head

And on his mule ‘e hoisted me high

And walked beside me, two swags now on ‘is back

all them five miles to Gundagai



‘E put me up at Hobsons pub,

Paid the bill an’ all.

‘E later checked to see me well,

paid the doc an’ all.

I’ll not forget that day of mortal strife,

or the Turk who heard my cry,

And rescued this digger’s mortal life

Only five miles from Gundagai.


Posted on December 12, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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